For Every Standards Intersection: A Crosswalk

ISTE Coaching Standard 1 provides four benchmarks for technology coaches to inspire and participate in the development and implementation of a shared vision for the comprehensive integration of technology to promote excellence and support transformational change throughout the instructional environment. My focus is on benchmark d: Implement strategies for initiating and sustaining technology innovations and manage and change process in schools and classrooms. ISTE Coaching Standard 2 provides eight benchmarks for technology coaches to assist teachers in using technology effectively for assessing student learning, differentiating instruction, and providing rigorous, relevant and engaging learning experiences for all students. My focus is on benchmark f: Coach teachers in and model incorporation of research-based best practices in instructional design when planning technology-enhanced learning experiences. ISTE Coaching Standard 6 provides three benchmarks for technology coaches to demonstrate professional knowledge, skills and dispositions in content, pedagogical and technological areas as well as adult learning and leadership and to continuously deepen their knowledge and expertise. My focus is on benchmark a: Engage in continual learning to deepen content and pedagogical knowledge in technology integration and current and emerging technologies necessary to effectively implement the ISTE·S and ISTE·T standards.

For Every Standards Intersection: A Crosswalk!

My Question

How can we use existing school- or district-level 21st century learning frameworks (definitions, alignments, crosswalks) in our coaching work? How can coaches build awareness and maintain the relevance of these frameworks?

My Resolution

My question was uncannily similar to the question asked in the same module by Marsha Scott in the Seattle Pacific University Digital Education Leadership Masters program 2014 cohort… so similar that her blog post for the module was number six in my initial Google search results. In her post, Marsha states, “Therefore by examining the standards or competencies for students’ expectations, the next step is for coaches and teachers to work together to incorporate learning activities that support these standards” (Scott 2015).

Marsha’s exploration of her question led her to discover Common Sense Education’s Common Core Explorer tool, which has a new home (since her blog posting) on the revamped Common Sense Education site (previously Graphite) – it’s now nested under “Reviews and Ratings” and then “Browse by Standard.” This tool allows you to search by Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts, Math and Science, but yields only teacher-reviewed software and app recommendations (no lesson ideas/examples).

My own question was inspired by a tool that is strikingly similar and can be found by following a link on the WA State OSPI Educational Technology Standards webpage: Interactive Crosswalk Webtool: Common Core and Ed Tech Standards. This webtool yields fairly robust results, with links to trusted sources for lessons, such as ReadWriteThink. However, significant drawback is that this resource covers only Ed Tech alignment with English Language Arts. Where are the other core subjects?

The brilliant description of a Leadership Development Module on Aligning Curriculum, available on The Teaching Channel website, reads:

“What do all schools with high student achievement share? They tightly link standards, curriculum, instruction, and assessment. And they do this across, as well as within, all grades and subjects. The results are clear and consistent expectations for student learning” (Teaching Channel 2016).

Teachers, above all, are tasked with aligning their curriculum with Common Core State Standards. Often, packaged programs designed for academic subjects (Reader’s/Writer’s Workshop, [insert name of math/science/social studies textbook publisher here]), come already aligned to academic standards—but only to academic standards. The work of standards alignment is no longer the work of the classroom teacher. They have been removed from that process, it would seem their load has been made lighter, but… How often do teachers (and coaches of teachers) engage in the task of extending standards alignment beyond the academic standards alignment that is provided for them? How often do teachers and coaches make use of state- or district-created “crosswalks” and “webtools” that do extend standards alignment to include Ed Tech (state & ISTE), Information Literacy, 21st Century Learning, other academic subjects or other relevant standards (e.g. AASL)?

Screenshot of McGraw-Hill textbook publisher website, which reads, "McGraw-Hill, Your Partner in Understanding and Implementing NGSS."

Screenshot of standards alignment statement from McGraw-Hill website.

I have not found what I am looking for… evidence of teacher and coach awareness and use of a comprehensive standards crosswalk – one with columns that align standards in all of these areas:

  • Common Core State Standards
  • Information Literacy (i.e. Big 6 or other)
  • Educational Technology (state + ISTE)
  • 21st Century Skills (P21, AASL or other)

Several organizations—Common Core, AASL, ISTE, Partnership for 21st Century Learning—as well as individual states and districts have developed standards “crosswalks” that align their framework with that of one or a few other organization(s), but none seem to have developed a crosswalk that aligns all.

What is the 21st Century-minded teacher to do? We all could sit down independently with the existing frameworks, standards, and crosswalks, and perform the task of aligning them with our academic standards. In doing so, we would more intimately understand how they all fit together, and may even begin to think about how we can modify existing lessons/units to meet all standards. That said, meaningful though it is, this task does not need to be completed by every teacher. Those of us who have created comprehensive crosswalks need to share our work, so that teachers and coaches can review and build on our work in order to personalize it for their district, school or classroom.

Therefore, I present you with an Information Literacy Matrix that I developed during my coursework in the SPU Library Media Endorsement program. It is a crosswalk that aligns Information Literacy (Big 6), Common Core State Standards (ELA only), WA State Educational Technology Standards, ISTE Student Standards, and AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner, and Project Look Sharp’s Media Literacy Standards.

It is a work in progress, as it covers only English Language Arts Common Core State academic standards, but that column could be switched out for any academic subject standards. As my caption states, my matrix is a fusion of sources, many of which had their own “crosswalks,” but none which covered all areas.

“21st Century” Information Literacy Matrix

What are your thoughts on multi-standard alignment, crosswalks, webtools, etc? Is my matrix useful for other teachers & coaches? If you have developed a similar matrix, please consider sharing it in the comments section of this post.

Works Cited

  1. Scott, M. (2015). Defining and implementing 21st century skills. Retrieved from: http://marsscott.com/visionaryleadership/defining-and-implementing-21st-century-skills/
  2. The Teaching Channel (2016). Leadership development module: Aligning curriculum. Retrieved from: https://www.teachingchannel.org/aligning-curriculum-module-sac

16 Comments

  1. Information Literacy Matrix is a powerful tool, and feels accessible to educators. And gives coherence in an area where it seems badly needed.

  2. Your graphic is awesome! And thanks for sharing the Interactive Crosswalk tool. Many of us had questions regarding how to incorporate standards from various sources and were curious about how they related to one another- very helpful!

  3. I love that you included the literacy matrix! I also love your Crosswalk graphic, it’s a great way to visually represent how these different elements come togethe!

  4. Very good graphic to represent what you were exploring. I also appreciated all the stated connections to the ISTE standards as well.

  5. Ha! I always feel like I’m doing something right when my Google searches lead me to last year’s cohorts’ work.

    As others have mentioned, your graphic is simple and powerful — very nice work! I greatly enjoyed listening in on the conversation between Hanna and yourself regarding the matrix. As you both mentioned, the overlap can be a bit overwhelming and seemingly overly complicated. How many ways can we categorize the same goals?

    I have always appreciated the simplicity of the Big6 Model, but in recent years I have found myself referencing AASL’s standards more often. I always can find a standard that addresses the work students and I do in lessons within the library walls and beyond.

    Great post!

  6. Justin: Thanks for your “field experience” insight about using the AASL standards. As a language arts teacher, I used the stages of the Big 6 model to guide my students through the tasks (flexible milestones) of an independent project, kind of like the writing process. But, I find most of the Big 6 website resources to be clunky… In dire need of a makeover… AASL resources are likely better.

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